Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Like Pavlov's Dogs

When Jake was little, he was mesmerized by the ice cream truck that would wind it's way through our neighborhood and I, like any other good parent, encouraged his love of the music box on wheels.

"See! It brings happy music to the kids! What a nice truck!" I gushed, and I also did what every other parent will do when faced with the ice cream truck and a two year old.

I lied.

I told Jake that yes, magical people drive trucks through neighborhoods playing happy music just to bring joy to the people who live there. I didn't mention the horrifically overpriced wares that they sold, because seriously-we have ice cream in the fridge, anyway.

That went over well until my neighbor, thinking she was being kind, bought something for Jake from the ice cream truck and he learned that no, it wasn't a music truck, it was an ICE CREAM truck. Like seriously Mom, get with the program because that music truck? Is actually the call to action for children to beg/plead/harass their parents for money so they can buy some ridiculously overpriced treat even though the freezer is already stocked with ice creamy goodness.

That truck was more like a mortgage your house/tantrum until you're purple/drive your parents insane for a drumstick truck.

Years later Jake was in a karate class and I, like other dutiful mothers, was sitting and watching. The focus of the lesson was being calm, quiet, and focus. Eight little people dressed in their white karate outfits were unwaveringly focused on their teacher until....

...the sounds of the ice cream truck filled the air. The song merrily played once, and then twice, then THREE times.

"ICE CREAM TRUCK!" Karate wasn't the focus anymore. As if the pied piper himself had suddenly passed by the window, the kids were all instantly at the window, hoping to catch a glimpse of the magical vehicle that carries ice creamy goodness.

The song played a fourth time, and by then, every head in the dojo turned and looked straight at me and I realized with growing horror where the sound was coming from.

"Stupid. Cell. Phone. Found it! I'm so sorry!!"

The eyes narrowed as all the kids realized I'd just been playing with their minds, and brought in a cell phone of all things, to interrupt their lesson.


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